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Forget Cold Medicine for Your Youngster and Other Practical Advice

Have you seen the blog written by Dr. Howard J. Bennett?  He's a Washington, D.C. board-certified pediatrician who, when he's not seeing patients, writes books and some very practical advice for moms. One of his latest tips was published in The Washington Post newspaper about how "Research has repeatedly shown that cold medicines don't work for children younger than 6."  He goes on to say that these store-bought, often self-prescribed remedies provide only negligible benefit for children aged 6 to 12. Dr. Bennett quoted from a 2012 Cochrane Collaboration study which looked at the effectiveness of over-the-counter cold medications.  (Abstract can be found by clicking here).  Although they can be "some help" to teenagers and adults, Dr. Bennett wrote that typical cold symptoms resolve themselves in seven to 10 days or may even linger two to three weeks. "The truth is, a cold has a predictable life span, and not much can be done to interrupt it," he says.  He explained how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that cold medicines not be used at all by children younger than 2 and how the FDA is reviewing its policy on the use of cold medicine in older children. To read the entire story which was reprinted in the Chicago Tribune Jan. 30, 2013, click here.   There, you will also see the list of what is in oral cold medicines. Dr. Bennett suggests, "So the next time your child has a cold, walk past the cold medicine aisle at the supermarket and pick up some soup instead."  Drink lots of fluids, he recommends. Check out Dr. Bennett's common sense advice on a number of questions that every mom has, no matter how many children or no matter their age.

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